(ATTN: RECASTS lead; ADDS details throughout)
SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) -- The justice ministry announced a reshuffle Thursday, replacing senior prosecutors who have led probes into high-profile cases involving former and current presidential officials.
The move affected senior prosecutors who have been investigating suspicions that some Cheong Wa Dae officials intervened in the 2018 provincial elections and attempted to cover up bribery allegations of a former Busan vice mayor.
Also among those affected was a senior prosecutor who was leading an investigation into allegations over academic fraud and financial wrongdoing involving former Justice Minister Cho Kuk's family.
The announcement came two weeks after the first round of a reshuffle involving some of the country's highest-ranking prosecutors.
The Jan. 8 announcement affected 32 senior posts at the prosecution office, relegating Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl's key aides to provincial and less important positions.
Critics had raised concerns the reshuffle may deter ongoing probes into some presidential officials' suspected election meddling and power abuse.
The justice ministry called such views "a misunderstanding," claiming other key prosecutors investigating the cases remain on their teams.
The reshuffle of 759 senior and rank-and-file prosecutors is set to go into effect Feb. 3.
Yoon's outreach to Southeast Asia keeps China in the loop
Allies' defense chiefs highlight watertight alliance based on full extended deterrence against N. Korean threats
(News Focus) Police under fire for lax response to emergency calls hours before Itaewon crush
Police under fire for lax response to emergency calls hours before Itaewon crush
Role of administrative authorities questioned in Itaewon disaster